Hi! Happy Sunday!
This is really long, but rest assured your hug awaits at the bottom!
Ever wonder why it is conservatives promote an idea racism is over? Why not liberals?
Let me also assure you this blog is still about scalable solutions of systems and not ideology.
Here is the scalable systemic solution: we need more research on cultural transmission and how social groups control individual behavior.
Conservative culture is fundamentally focused on behavior of the individual, individual accountability. Conservatives have a huge gap in understanding behavior as having social contributions, social motivation and assigning any credibility to a person's behavior as a result of social systems. If person A is a racist that has no correlation with person B who may or may not be a racist is conservative thinking. Ideas are arrived at by individual on an individual, case-by-case basis. To conservatives we are all blank slates that cannot be influenced by society. Personal accountability is the primary and sole dimension of behavior conservatives recognize; ergo their strong belief in the criminal system of individual punishment and disinterest in social programs. Racism has no social mechanism transmission to conservatives because conservatives do not admit any social transmission mechanisms exist. This idea then that racism is over is not limited to racism as it is systemic to conservative thinking. Individual accountability is all there is to conservatives. In other words racism to them has ended because there is no social transmission across generations or people.
There is one glaring exception to this of course and that is religion. This is a Christian country to a conservatives point of view and that is the only social transmission mechanism they recognize. Why? Because religion is a social transmission establishing the exclusivity of individual accountability. Religions do not promote social programs, that a society must reach a certain saturation point of homogeneousness to establish viability or the society as a whole is punished. Religions promote apostate exclusively and individual punishment only. Punishments and actions are not to the entire social group but only to the individual. Religions were all invented long before we humans had any understanding about the social influences and so conservatives are stuck in that mind set.
It is not just racism that Conservatives do not acknowledge then when it comes to blacks: but also black poverty. Conservatives believe people are just individuals in this country and so any individual should just get an education, get a job and game over. Racism is over. Conservatives do not believe there is any social responsibility by the culture at large for black poverty. None.
Is that true? We need to separate out the ethical from the systemic here. As Thomas Jefferson among many others have said: the living owe nothing on behalf of the dead morally and ethically. The living are not guilty for the atrocities of the dead. Black reparations by the living on behalf of dead slave owners of the past is not ethical on that count. One person cannot be directly held into account for the actions of another just due to proximity and social group membership, past or present.
But is there a count for which black reparations should be made? Yes and that would be cultural transmission. As Thomas Jefferson put it, we should do so to the full extent the public can stomach.
To better illustrate let us consider for a moment how this gap of not understanding social transmission fundamentally undermines conservatives at large: education.
Conservatives have been lambasting liberals for years for the demise of public education. Conservatives take zero responsibility for our education failures and they lay all of blame on liberals. And yet? Ever since polls have been taken conservatives outnumber liberals in this country. What? How is this possible?
This is possible because conservatives do not believe in social influence and therefore would not have any motive to enact education programs with objectives of socially transmitting ideas. This explains a lack of motivation to get in involved with education as something other than job training or religious teaching of individual accountability. Now when they see the end results of failed education, results they do not like, now they complain. Only because the effects of social transmission are staring them back in the face and reality has set in. Here's the thing though. That narrative has been going on for decades and conservatives have not changed their behavior. What's astonishing is that the pattern of conservatives complaining about liberal education has been going on for decades without change. Why?
To be fair though, social transmission gap is not the only thing that holds back conservatives from getting involved in education.
Fear of change also factors into it. Conservatives by their very nature want to continue to use what exists and not embrace the new. A trivial example is the history of Washington and the cherry tree where he could not tell a lie. This was pure fabrication made up by some historian in 1836. To the winners go the spoils and one of those spoils is writing history. As America has matured the liberals and not the conservatives have begun to correct inaccuracies of our history to the extent the facts allowed. Where facts have only been collected about the winners liberal historians have slowly progressed over time to telling the stories of the losers of history; the slaves and the native Americans. This results in cognitive dissonance on behalf of the conservatives where on one-hand they do not want false history and yet on the other hand they do not want to undermine the credibility of a Christian nation narrative either.
Systemically then conservatives being unable and unwilling to engage in social behavioral programs has left conservatives exposed both politically and socially. Conservatives cannot acknowledge that any poverty, any black poverty and any racism are socially transmitted ideas across generations. Therefore there is no social program as a solution for poverty and crime. However, this very same mindset undermines them from engaging in education because it would require understanding the social influence of behavior that education has. Education is clearly social behavior influence that challenges conservatives, a challenge they have been unable to meet for decades and decades.
Cultural transmission that gridlocks poverty is the same cause that gridlocks the conservative community in regards to education. We need to break the dysfunctional barriers of both poverty and education. We need the blacks to no longer be poor and in prison, we need the conservatives to engage education and take responsibility as a social group.
The solution for this country is to better understand social and cultural transmission in both real-time and across generations. Where conservatives might have to painfully acknowledge that they have been wrong on poverty and crime not being socially systemic, they would more than reap rewards enabling their thinking to participate in education armed with social behavior understanding.
I mentioned earlier that there is a count where black reparations can be made.
That reparation has to do with understanding an ideal or just society and defining the kind of society we are want to be.
In a letter to Jefferson someone once asked him how much, if any, charity the federal government should engage in. Jefferson's reply was, "as much as the public can stomach."
Appropriate black reparations is not about debts of the past, but rather fixing systems of the present "as much as the public can stomach."
To this end affirmative action was created. Affirmative action came about here in California where a California judge ruled in favor of it. His very liberal view point was this: what took four-hundred years to entrench will take an equal four-hundred years to unwind. He surmised this is not fair to the blacks of this country and so affirmative action was ordered.
This kind of reparation is appropriate: opportunity today to break the cycle of poverty across generations.
The reason affirmative action failed in its implementation is that the judge was only one piece of the experiment puzzle. He had no control over what came next, and no expertise in social experiments even if he had. Acknowledging that we need social experiments is not enough and not that same as having the program itself.
Affirmative action was doomed to fail because in the beginning its success rate would be low. In venture capital a 90% failure rate is acceptable because the 10% that succeed more than pay for the other 90%. Yet we did not take that approach with affirmative action. Conservatives time-and-time again beat up on the failure rate of affirmative action and it eventually has been dismantled.
Affirmative action should be reinstated. Affirmative action should be a social experiment to change of the systemic course of the cycle of poverty. However, like all innovations I have presented in my previous blog posts, affirmative action should be not rolled out, carte blanche, across the nation. Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. We should take what we've learned about affirmative action and start over but with smaller groups expanding over time using an innovation approach.
In addition to more research on cultural transmission and how social groups control individual behavior we also need to better understand how to run social experiments as innovations. Affirmative action was implemented nationally way too soon just as ACA was. ACA will most likely follow affirmative actions demise. The experiment was implemented too large too soon. We need to start small, gather data, make incremental changes and so on. In other words, we need to innovate. As part of that process of enacting any social experiment going forward we need to educate ourselves on how to innovate and how to experiment responsibly.
We need more research on cultural transmission and how social groups control individual behavior. As we do these experiments we need to refine the innovation process itself.
Well come! and Well met!